Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  May 26, 2024  ★

The Quotable Leo Fender

Leo Fender and George Fullterton at the G&L factory

Leo Fender is a legend in guitar design. Not only did he pioneer the use of reverb with, according to Dick Dale, the help of Dick Dale, he's also widely responsible for popularizing the electric guitar.

Fender figured out how to produce guitars on a large scale. His timing was impeccable and Fender was poised to get guitars into the hands of kids in garage bands across America just as Elvis and The Beatles started taking the country by storm.

Fender got his start tinkering around at his uncle's electronics shop, and after getting laid off from several accounting jobs during the Depression, he went out on his own and never looked back. He would still come into work at G&L every day until he died.

It's a cliche these days for entrepreneurs to say they want to "change the world," but here are some quality quotes from a man that truly did it:

With the money I save eating these sandwiches, I can buy a handful of resistors. [Click to Tweet]
A lot of times a musician would make a casual remark about how he wished he had this or he wished he had that. That's how the guitar developed and really how the bass developed back in 1950. [Click to Tweet]
If something is easy to repair, it is easy to construct. [Click to Tweet]
I was always able to see the defects in the design of an instrument which overlooked completely the need of its maintenance. [Click to Tweet]
I would go through thousands and thousands of pickups hunting for the best possible way there is to make one. [Click to Tweet]
The Croatians, near Poland, have several instruments with tuning pegs located on one side of the guitar and they invented this years ago. [Click to Tweet]
I guess you would say the objectives were durability, performance, and tone. [Click to Tweet]

Leo Fender's workbench